The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
1. The cat will be like a son to you.
You feed the cat, you clean up after the cat, you baby the cat, naturally at some point you start to feel like the cat’s mom, even if you’ve never felt a shred of motherly instinct in your entire life. Don’t be scared. Lean into it.
2. That doesn’t mean you can always lie about the cat to get out of social engagements.
When you tell people that your cat is sick, they will respond as if you said your human child is sick, but it’s even more awkward because it’s a cat so what’s even the appropriate amount of sympathy to show? You’re better off being honest with your friends: that you’d rather hang out with your cat than with them. It’s OK. It happens to the best of us.
3. The more you treat the cat like a human child, the better off the cat will be.
I know, I know. We’re all a little sick of people who take pet ownership and turn it into an Olympic sport. I don’t mean that. I mean, you will love this cat as if you gave birth to it (whether or not that’s physically possible is beside the point), and you will want to give the cat the best possible care you can afford. Soon, you’ll be moving into a new district for the schools and extracurriculars. It’s a slippery slope.
4. You will eventually find the cat’s constant, grating meows for food and attention to be as instinctually cute as a baby’s cry.
My roommate couldn’t believe that I managed to sleep through my cat’s incessant meowing. All it takes is love.
5. But don’t tell people that, because that’s weird.
Don’t make the same mistakes I did.
6. Don’t neglect the cat just because no one can call CPS on you.
Cats, like babies, deserve and require a minimum level of attention: playtime, petting, fawning, doting, etc. You have to clean up after them once but preferably twice a day. They need exercise, they need mental stimulation, and they need you. As the owner of a chatty, attention-seeking, abandonment issues-having Bombay cat, I know better than most and can say with utter authority: pet the damn cat.
Get cat toys that look like baby toys. It will make everything 1000% more adorable.